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Delaware Direct Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan

The Delaware Direct Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan draws from ongoing planning efforts to enhance and revitalize Philadelphia's riverfront communities.

Delaware Direct Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan

The Delaware Direct Watershed—an area within Philadelphia that is home to one of the most diverse urban communities in the region—is in the midst of a planning revolution. The Delaware Direct Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan creates an environmental and cultural planning inventory to facilitate sustainable improvements to a wide range of topics in the watershed, from recreation and water quality to flood control and ecological restoration. The plan’s objectives and recommendations are a direct result of public participation and the synthesis of dozens of existing neighborhood, city and riverfront initiatives.

Tioga Marine Terminal on the Delaware Riverfront, Philadelphia PA

Delaware Direct RCP Downloads

Complete Document

Complete RCP Document Download Entire plan (35MB) with all appendices

Individual Plan Sections

Table of Contents (117KB)
Executive Summary (417KB)
Section 1 (1.0MB)
Section 2 (6.8MB)
Section 3 (2.4MB)
Section 4 (2.0MB)
Section 5 (2.6MB)
Section 6 (5.2MB)
Section 7 (1.0MB)
Section 8 (234KB)
Section 9 (1.5MB)
Appendices (11.5MB)

High quality versions of all maps prepared for the RCP are available for download below, in the Maps Download Section

Other Planning Initiatives in The Delaware Direct watershed

There are several other ongoing planning initiatives in the Delaware Direct watershed. Each plan represents the unique conditions, needs and values of the area it serves and makes recommendations for the enhancement of portions of the Delaware riverfront. Use the interactive map below to highlight each plan's area of coverage, and learn more about each initiative by reading the accompanying documents.


Action Plan for the Central Delaware

PennPraxis (the clinical practice of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design), the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and design consultant Wallace, Roberts & Todd collaborated on a conceptual “Vision Plan” for the Central Delaware Riverfront beginning in the fall of 2006. Funded by the William Penn Foundation, the plan makes use of an extensive civic engagement process that included neighborhood associations, local businesses, and individual citizens. Two reports were produced: A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware (2007) and a follow-up report, An Action Plan for the Central Delaware: 2008–2018 (2008). Together, they call for a dramatic physical transformation of the Central Delaware Riverfront.

Action Plan for the Central Delaware (24 MB)

View the plan in a variety of formats on PennPraxis' website

North Delaware Riverfront Greenway

The North Delaware Riverfront is a valuable resource for the entire City of Philadelphia. With more than 700 acres of vacant and underutilized land, the riverfront has potential for greenway development in concert with mixed-use, commercial, and residential development. While some of the existing properties need environmental cleanup, a properly developed continuous greenway and trail system, as proposed in the Greenway Plan, will provide an area devoted to public recreation, open space, and economic development for new and existing riverfront neighborhoods. A consultant team worked to gather all relevant data for the plan, solicit public input, review priorities, and synthesize all the information into a final implementation plan.

View the plan at the Delaware River City Corp. website

New Kensington Riverfront Plan

The New Kensington Community Development Corporation developed a plan focused on achieving a balance between development and open space, creating gateways into the community, and creating a framework for implementation. The plan for New Kensington's stretch of the Delaware River was guided by a broad task force of stakeholders.

New Kensington Riverfront Plan (8 MB)

Northern Liberties Neighborhood Plan

The Northern Liberties Neighborhood Plan focuses on empowering the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association to guide the neighborhood’s future. Completed in 2005, GIS and three-dimensional modeling techniques were utilized to help community members quantify and comprehend the changes underway while enabling them to visualize the impact of proposed future development. Through the planning process, local stakeholders were encouraged to establish priorities and goals for the neighborhood’s redevelopment, identify improvements for civic space and major streets, and develop policies to retain the community’s mixed-use character.

Northern Liberties Neighborhood Plan (6 MB)

Northern Liberties Waterfront Plan

The Northern Liberties Waterfront Plan was released in April 2007 by the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association. This community-based riverfront vision guides development from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Penn Treaty Park. Commissioned by NLNA and financed by local developers, it is the first community plan to address land along the central Delaware. The plan focuses on ideas for narrowing the gap between the river and its neighbors, such as east-west “civic incisions” that reclaim important connector streets as public space, manicured parks under portions of I-95, and floating trail elements in the river that will allow people to travel along a continuous riverfront trail despite private control of riparian land.

Northern Liberties Waterfront Plan (11 MB)

North Delaware Riverfront Rail Stations Urban Design Study

This Study is focused on the opportunities and challenges facing five stations along SEPTA’s R7 regional rail line, which connects Center City Philadelphia with Trenton, New Jersey. The five stations – Bridesburg, Wissinoming (currently closed), Tacony, Holmesburg Junction and Torresdale – each present a unique set of issues and constraints related to their existing uses, market pressures and transportation infrastructure. At the same time, all of the stations share much in common, including a proximity to the North Delaware Riverfront, which promises to change substantially over the coming decades. The objective of this project is to transform each station into an active community resource that serves the needs of residents and encourages increased rail ridership.

North Delaware Riverfront Rail Stations Urban Design Study (4 MB)

Navy Yard Master Plan

Within The Navy Yard’s 1,200 acres, the western portion of the site (the Shipyard) is largely occupied by the Navy, commercial shipbuilding, and other industrial activities and the Plan assumes the Shipyard will continue to develop those uses.

To the east of the Shipyard, the Plan establishes five districts, each with its own distinct character, assets, and development objectives. The Plan proposes that these districts create a dynamic, mixed-use waterfront development that successfully extends the city south to its riverfront. The districts include:

The Corporate Center (72 acres) is located between Broad Street and League Island
Boulevard near The Navy Yard’s historic gateway. Approximately 1.4 million square feet of new office space, 110,000 square feet of potential retail, and 5,600 parking spaces are proposed for this district.

The Historic Core (167 acres) flanks Broad Street and opens up to the Delaware River to the south. Building upon its many historic buildings and landscape elements, the 2004 Plan proposes the reuse of approximately 2.4 million square feet of existing buildings integrated with approximately 1.4 million square feet of new development. Overall, this will create 950,000 square feet of office space, 850 residential units, 110,000 square feet of cultural use, and 64,000 square feet of retail. The Plan also creates an opportunity for a 750,000-square-foot academic or research campus.

The Research Park (81 acres) is designed for research and development, office, light manufacturing, and distribution facilities.

The Marina District (115 acres) focuses on a new, 250-slip marina, as well as an executive conference center, recreation, and marina support facilities. Two development options, one primarily commercial and one primarily residential, are presented in the 2004 Plan.

The East End (87 acres) is presented in the Plan in three alternative configurations: a 1.5 million-square-foot industrial development, a 3,500-unit residential neighborhood, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

The Navy Yard Master Plan web page(under development)

Delaware Direct Watershed RCP Map Downloads

Print Quality PDF Maps

All RCP maps, 300dpi PDF Files suitable for printing (158MB .zip)

Individual Maps Gallery

Base Map Household Income Population Density Historic Streams Employers Flood Zones

Impervious Land Use Parks Planning Private Parcels SEPTA

Sewers Soil Groups Soil Texture Transportation Vacant Property Wetlands

Zoning City Parcels Wetlands DEW 22-29 Wetlands NE Wetlands SE Wetlands SW

Delaware Direct Rivers Conservation Plan Waterway Tour

This virtual tour is a visual survey of the various structures, sites and points of interest along the Delaware riverfront. These photos were taken on June 26, 2007 by PWD Office of Watersheds staff.

Download the KML file for Google Earth.